Friday, November 14, 2014

Roasted Corn and Tomato Soup

(From Banu's Cookbook)


1 lb of Frozen Corn
1 and 1/2 boxes of Cherry Tomatoes
4-6 Garlic Cloves
4 Cups of Vegetable Broth
1 Large Onion Chopped
1 8 Oz Bottle of Roasted Red Bell Peppers
2-3 Tsp of Chipotle Chillie Powder
2-3 Tsp of Paprika
Freshly Ground Pepper
Salt to Taste
Oil for cooking
Chopped Cilantro for Garnishing


1. Heat the oven to 425 deg F. Line a baking tray with Aluminum Foil. Spread the corn on the tray, add the cherry tomatoes and garlic cloves on top.
2. Drizzle oil on this. Sprinkle some salt and freshly ground pepper. Bake in oven for 30-45 minutes until the tomato skin starts getting wrinkly and the corn looks roasted. Corn wont become brown or anything.
3. Drain the Roasted Red Bell Peppers and chop them.
4. In a Pan, add some oil. Saute the Onion until they are translucent. Add the chili powders, salt and the roasted red pepper. Saute for a few minutes.
5. Keep a little bit of the roasted corn for garnishing.
6. Add the vegetable broth, roasted corn and tomato mixture and bring it to a boil.
7. Once it starts boiling, reduce the temp to Low Medium, cover the pot and cook the mixture for about 20 minutes.
8. Let it cool for a few minutes and blend it into a smooth mixture using a blender. For this mixture, I had to blend it twice.  It is very IMPORTANT that you remove the small cap on the blender lid to let the steam out and you can cover that hole with a paper towel to prevent splatters.
8. Serve it hot with Chopped Cilantro, freshly ground pepper and a little roasted corn.

1. This soup tastes a bit better if you use fresh corn. You have to scrap the kernels from fresh corn. You will need about 3 cups of corn kernels. You have to be careful when scraping the corn as you do not want the underlying fiber as it can make the soup taste bad.
2. You can use any kind of tomatoes - vine, roma etc. I just happen to like the Cherry tomatoes and the slight sourness they add to the soup.
3. You can roast your own Red Bell Pepper. You cut the top off, remove the seed, cut it open so that you can spread it out, brush some olive oil on the skin and bake until the skin starts blackening and peeling off. Then you just peel the skin, chop it and use it just like the bottled one.
4. You can use an immersion blender if you like those and blend the soup right in the pot. I just happen to use the blender because that is what I have.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tomato and Wheat Flour Dosa (Crepe)

(From Banu's Cookbook)

1 Cup of Wheat Flour
1/3 Cup Rice Flour
4 Medium Tomatoes
1 Medium Onion Chopped Fine
1/4 Cup of Chopped Cilantro
4-5 Green Chillies Chopped (or more per taste)
Salt to taste
Oil for Cooking

1. Sift the wheat and rice flour along with the salt.
2. Puree the tomatoes in a food processor or blender.
3. Add the tomato puree to the flour mixture and mix well. Add more water to bring it to a pouring consistency. It should not be too watery but not too solid either.
4. Adjust salt if needed as you are adding some water.
5. Add chopped onions, green chillies and cilantro.
6. Heat a non stick pan or a cast iron pan, pour a ladle of the crepe mixture. Cook on both sides with oil.
7. Serve it hot with some pickle, chutney or jam on the side.

1. You can cover the Dosa/Crepe on one side to hasten the cooking process.
2. You can avoid rice flour if you do not want to use it. Does not change the taste much. Texture might be a bit more softer without rice flour.
3. I like the taste of Onion when eating the Dosa, so I chop it and add it. But if you do not, you can chop it extra fine in the food processor before adding it.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Raspberry Cake

(From Banu's Cookbook)


1 Cup of All Purpose Flour
1/2 Tsp of Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp of Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp of Salt
1/2 Stick of Unsalted Butter Softened
2/3 Cups of Sugar
2 Large Eggs
3/4 Cup of Light or Fat free Sour Cream
1/2 Tsp of Vanilla Essence
1 1/2 cups of Fresh Raspberry
1 Tablespoon of Sugar for Sprinkling on top
Oil/Butter for Coating the Cake Pan
Flour for Dusting the Cake Pan

1. Heat the Oven to 400 deg F while making sure that the rack is in the middle of the oven.
2. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Keep it aside.
3. In a bowl start mixing/beating together the softened butter and sugar. The mixture will be a bit dry, but you will start to see the butter to start changing color. So beat for about 2 mins or so until you see the mixture become kind of pale and a bit fluffy.
4. Now add the two eggs, vanilla essence and beat for couple more minutes until everything is well blended and the mixture is a bit frothy.
5. Add the sour cream and mix well.
6. Now add the flour mixture slowly while mixing it. I would suggest doing this with a spatula, but if you are using a mixer or handheld mixer, then do it at the lowest setting possible.
7. Once all the flour mixture has been folded in, pour it into a greased and floured cake pan.
8. Add the Raspberry fruit on top of the cake batter and sprinkle some sugar on top of it.
9. Now bake this for about 25-30 mins until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. It took about 28 mins for mine. I had done it in a 9 inch square cake pan.
10. Take out and let it cool for at least 10 mins before cutting, My Raspberries were sour, so the tartness from the berries along with the sweet and crumbly cake was perfect.

1. You can use milk or buttermilk instead of Sour cream, but the texture does not come out exactly same. But it tastes good.
2. If you do not like getting big chunk of gooey fruit in your cake bite, then you can chop the Raspberries before putting them on the cake.
3. This stays good in Refrigerator for about 2-3 days. You can microwave it to make it warm.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Zucchini Chutney

(From Banu's Cookbook)

4 Tsp of Urad Daal
2 Tsp of Coriander Seeds
1/4 Tsp of Methi Seeds
1 Medium Onion chopped
2 Green Chillies (Or more as per taste)
3-4 Garlic Cloves
2 Small or 1 Large Zucchini Chopped
1 Tsp of Tamarind Paste
Salt to Taste
Oil for Sauteing
Mustard seeds and Curry Leaves for Seasoning.

1. Heat oil in a pan, add the Urad Daal and saute well until they turn light brown.
2. At this point, add the coriander and methi seeds and saute a bit more.
3. Add the chopped onion, green chilies and garlic and saute well until onion turns translucent.
4. Now add the chopped zucchini and cook until the zucchini becomes tender - maybe 5-7 mins.
5. Let this mixture cool well. Then blend it into a smooth paste with salt and tamarind paste.
6. Heat the oil, add the mustard seeds and once they splutter, add curry leaves and add the seasoning to the blended chutney.
7. Enjoy the chutney with chapathi, rice, dosa or even with bread.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Garlic Tindora (Ivy Gourd) Curry

(From Banu's Cookbook)

1 Medium Onion Chopped Lengthwise
2-3 cups of Tindora (Ivy Gourd) chopped Length wise
4-5 Cloves of Garlic chopped fine
2-3 Tsp of Multi Purpose Curry Powder
Salt to Taste
Oil for Sauteeing
1 Tsp of Cumin Seeds
1 Tsp of Mustard Seeds
1 Tsp of Turmeric Powder
1 Tsp of Jaggery or brown sugar
A few curry leaves

1. Heat the oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds splutter, add the cumin seeds, curry leaves and chopped garlic.
2. Saute for a few seconds and then add the chopped onion. Saute for a few minutes until the onion starts turning translucent. Add turmeric and the chopped Tindora and mix well. Saute until the Tindora is almost done.
3. At the point, add the curry powder, salt and Jaggery. Mix well and cook until Tindora is fully cooked and the curry is ready to be served hot with rice or chapathi.

1. I like Tindora chopped lengthwise in 4 pieces, but if you would rather have it chopped or cut in rounds, you can do that as well. Taste does not change.
2. If your are not cutting your Tindora lengthwise, then you can even chop the onion to keep the uniform look.
3. If you are a garlic lover, you can add more cloves of garlic. It gives a good kick to the curry.
4. You can use MTR Sambhar powder or regular chilli powder also in lieu of Multi Purpose Curry Powder. Also you can add extra chilli powder along with Multi Purpose Curry Powder.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Red Cabbage Salad with Maggie Noodles

(From Banu's Cookbook)

Just a small healthy twist to the Regular Maggie Noodles. Maggie noodles is the Indian version of Ramen Noodles (Instant Noodles). I love Maggie Noodles, but avoid it as it is high in carbs, so decided to add some vegetables and make it as a salad.

2 cups of Thinly Shredded Red cabbage
1 cup of Chopped Sweet Mini Peppers
1 Packet of Maggie Noodles
2 Tbsp of Chopped Mint Leaves
Lemon Juice
Salt to Taste
1 tsp of Sugar
Crushed Black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp of dry roasted Cashew Nuts
water for cooking Maggie Noodles
1/2 Tsp of Olive Oil

1. Toss the Red cabbage, Mini Pepper and mint with Lemon juice and salt. Let it sit for a few mins for the cabbage to absorb the lemon juice.
2. Meanwhile heat the water and cook Maggie noodles. Make sure that you do not overcook the noodles. It tastes better if it is slightly under cooked. Do not add the masala packet that comes with the noodle packet.
3. Drain the noodles and toss it with olive oil and let it cool down a bit.
4. In a big salad bowl, add the marinated Cabbage and peppers mixture, the cooked Maggie Noodles, sugar, black pepper and also the cashew nuts. Toss it well and then serve immediately. If you are not serving it right away, it can be refrigerated for a few hours, but it is better served at room temperature rather than cold.

Enjoy and please let me know if you make and if you have any suggestions.

1. Cashew nuts is optional. You can even substitute almonds or walnuts.
2. You can even add broccoli and other vegetables to this salad.
3. You can use any kind of noodles for this salad, like the instant Ramen Noodles, Hakka Noodles etc.
4. I have also added a dash of White Vinegar and it tastes pretty good.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Garlic Roasted Radish

(From Banu's Cookbook)

I love Radishes especially these French Mini Radishes (I got them from Market Street which ahem is newly opened near my home). So, I thought why not make it into a side dish and here the result of that experimentation.

2 Bunches of Radish - I used French Mini, but you can use the regular red bunch radishes
6-8 Cloves of Garlic - you can add more if you just love garlic
2 Tsp of Olive Oil
1/2 tsp of Cumin Seeds

1/4 tsp of Lemon Pepper
1/2 tsp of Dried Basil Leaves
1/2 tsp of Red Chilli Powder
Sea Salt to Taste

1. Heat a pan, add the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds. After a few seconds, add the garlic cloves (I just added whole cloves) and saute them for a 20 - 30 seconds until they are brown.
2. Add the washed and chopped radishes and saute on medium high flame. Once the radishes are half done, add the seasoning powders and saute for few more minutes until the radishes are fully cooked.
3. If you like them crispy, roast them for some more time. Serve it hot with sandwich or any other entree.

1. You can add any seasoning - not just what I listed. I happen to use that combination and like it.
2. If you do not like getting garlic cloves in your mouth, you can chop them finely and then add it.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Green Chutney without Coconut

(From Banu's Cookbook)

I am always on the hunt for a Green Chutney without Coconut that I can use for Sandwiches, so here is something that I came up with that I like and stays good for a week to 10 days.

2 Cups of  Fresh Corriander Leaves
10-12 Whole Almonds
1/4 Cup of Roasted Bengal Gram Daal (Dalia or Putani)
1/2 Tsp of Jeera or Cumin Seeds
1-2 Green Chillies (Or more if you like the chutney to be spicy)
2 Tsp of Lemon Juice
Salt to Taste

1. Put all the ingredients except the Lemon Juice in a blender and add very little water and grind it to a smooth paste. You can add more water - in teaspoon measures if needed. It is easy to make it very water and we would not want it as it does not taste the same.
2. Remove from Blender and stir in the lemon juice and then this can be stored in a glass container in fridge for about a week to 10 days. After a few days it does turn a darker green, but neither the taste nor the quality is compromised.
3. I use the regular whole almonds, but you can use the almond slivers as well.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sprouted Moong Chilli

(From Banu's Cookbook)

2 Cups of Sprouted Green Moong Daal
1/2 Cup of Chopped Red Onion
1 Cup of Chopped Yellow Squash
2 Cups of Chopped Spinach
1 Tsp of Ginger Garlic Paste
1/2 Tsp of Turmeric
1 Tsp of Cumin Powder
1 Tsp of Corriander Powder
1 Tsp of Red Chilli Powder
1/2 Tsp of Chaat Powder or Amchur Powder
Mustard Seeds for Tempering
Salt to Taste
Onion for Sauteing

Chopped Red Onion
Sour Cream (Optional)

1. Cook the Sprouted Moon Daal in pressure cooker for 3-4 whistles or on stove top until it is fully cooked.
2. In a pan, heat the oil, add Mustard seeds and once it splutters, add the chopped onion and saute until it is translucent
3. Add the chopped squash and spinach and saute for a few more minutes. Add few table spoons of water and cook it until the squash is cooked.
4. Add turmeric and then add the cooked sprouted moong daal.
5. Mix it all well, add the rest of the masala powders including salt and cook on slow fire until everything is blended well.
6. Serve it hot with garnishing of chopped red onion and sour cream.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Roasted Vegetable Pocket Sandwich

(From Banu's Cookbook)

For the Filling:
1/2 of a Big Red Onion - Chopped Finely
1 Green Zucchini Squash - Chopped Finely
1 Yellow Squash - Chopped Finely
1 Orange Bell Pepper - Chopped Finely
1/4 Cup of Chopped Red Cabbage
Cilantro for Garnishing
Oil for Sauteing
Mustard seeds for seasoning
1/4 Tsp of Turmeric Powder
1-2 Tsp of Multi Purpose Curry Powder
A pinch of Garam Masala

For the Sandwich:
4 Slices of Wheat Bread
Green Chutney
Butter or butter Spread (I used I cannot believe it's Not butter)

1. Heat oil in pan. Once it is hot, add mustard seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds start spluttering, add the chopped onion and saute for a few minutes until it turns pink.
2. Now add the rest of the chopped vegetables except the red cabbage and saute them well until they are done.
3. Now add the red cabbage, turmeric, Curry Powder and Garam Masala. Mix Well and saute for a few more minutes. Switch off fire.
4. Pre heat the sandwich maker. Apply the butter or butter replacement on one side of the bread. Place it on the sandwich maker. Add some green chutney on top, place some of the filling.
5. Add another greased bread on top. Make the rest of the bread same way.
6. Cook for about 3 mins or how much ever time the sandwich maker recommends.
7. Serve it some Ketchup and or more Green Chutney.

1. You can add some Jalapenos/green chillies/red chilly powder to the filling if you want it more spicy.
2., You can use white or even sour dough bread instead of wheat bread.
3. You can sprinkle some shredded cheese on top of the vegetables as well.
4. You can add more vegetables to the filling as well.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Cabbage and Black Eyed Pea Curry

(From Banu's Cookbook)

1 Cup of Dry Black Eyed Pea
1/2 or 3/4 head of Cabbage
1 Small Onion
4 Cloves of Garlic
1 inch of Ginger
3-4 Green Chillies
1/4 Cup of Finely Chopped Cilantro For Garnishing
1/4 tsp of Turmeric Powder
Salt to Taste
1 Tsp of Lemon Juice

For Seasoning:
Oil for Cooking
Mustard Seeds
Cumin Seeds
Urad Daal
Curry Leaves

1. Wash and clean the black eyed pea and then you can either cook it in pressure cooker for 3 whistles or you can cook it on stove top until it is cooked.
2. Chop the onion finely along with Garlic, Ginger and Green Chilies.
3. In a separate pan, heat the oil, add all the seasoning ingredients. Once the mustard seeds splutter, add the Finely Chopped Onion Mix. Saute this well until the onion is cooked and turns brownish.
4. Now add the chopped Cabbage and turmeric powder and let it cook well. Do not add any water, you can reduce the heat and let it cook with a lid on. If you want crunchier Cabbage, do not cover the pan.
5. Once the Cabbage is almost done, add the cooked black eyed pea and salt. Mix it well and cook for 5 more minutes on low flame.
6. You can then turn off the flame and garnish the curry with chopped coriander leaves and lemon juice.
7. Serve it hot with either Chapathi or Rice.

1. You can use Canned or Frozen Black eyed pea as well, but they need to be cooked a bit as well. The cook time might be less than dry.
2. You can increase or decrease the garlic and green chilies per your taste.
3. You can put the onion, garlic, ginger and green chilies in a food processor and chop the very fine as well.